Samaritan Ministries celebrates 40 years of service

Published 11:06 am Thursday, February 18, 2021

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

WINSTON-SALEM — Samaritan Ministries opened its doors on March 2, 1981, as the first and only Soup Kitchen open 365 days a year in Winston-Salem and has provided a lunch meal every single day for the last 40 years. On that first day of operation, Samaritan Ministries served less than 30 meals. Forward to today, the soup kitchen serves between 250-350 meals every day to hungry neighbors, as well as Samaritan’s shelter guests.

During the last 40 years of service, 4,637,200 meals have been served to hungry men, women, and children in this community. Since the shelter opened in 1988, a total of 829,627 nights of shelter have been provided to men who are experiencing homelessness.

“It’s truly humbling to reflect on 40 years of serving our neighbors in need,” said Jan Kelly, Samaritan’s executive director. “We will continue to be a place of hope in our community by remaining Christ-centered, mission-driven and guest-focused.”

Samaritan Ministries’ mission to provide food, shelter and hope through Christian love has created a much-needed refuge in the community for Winston-Salem’s most vulnerable residents. Thousands of annual volunteers are what Samaritan considers the heartbeat of their organization. Volunteers have been instrumental in the fulfillment of Samaritan’s mission and their dedication to the ministry is a testament to God’s work that is carried out at Samaritan every single day.

The original building, just one block away from the current, served the ministry well until 2014, when Samaritan relocated to a larger and more functional building in order to increase the organization’s serving capacity. The ministry’s service programs have grown to make an impact on more lives than ever before, made possible by the generosity of those in the community.

Samaritan’s guests remain the biggest blessing to the ministry. Each individual guest story is important, and Samaritan strives to listen and help guide guests toward housing, food, and other needed resources. Every single one of Samaritan’s guests is part of God’s family.

Founded in 1981, Samaritan Ministries is an interdenominational, volunteer-based Christian ministry that serves Winston-Salem and Forsyth County. The Samaritan Ministries Soup Kitchen and Samaritan Inn Shelter are open 365 days and nights a year to serve people in need. Samaritan Ministries is located at 414 E. Northwest Blvd. near downtown Winston-Salem. For more information about Samaritan Ministries, go to